Showing no mercy to Bikram of Dhanaula village in Barnala, who hurled a shoe at chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday, the Khanna police have booked him and three accomplices for non-bailable offences.
The shoe missed the target but now the police have charged Bikram with manhandling them and resisting arrest. Section 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from duty), 353 (assault or criminal force with intent to deter public servant from duty), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) have been slapped on Bikram.
On Friday after the assault at Issru village near Khanna, Sections 107 and 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) were applied, and these are bailable, but the subdivisional magistrate (SDM) concerned has denied Bikram bail and remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days.
Bikram’s wife, Nisha, accused the police of making up a story of assault and tearing of uniform. “He has done no crime but the police have booked him unnecessarily just to please their political bosses,” she said. Former legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who had failed to bail Bikram out, also accused the police and the district administration of working under political pressure of te Badal family.
“After apprehending Bikram, the police never informed his family, which is a violation of the Supreme Court directions. They then told his wife to look for him in Patiala, Nabha and Sangrur, so that it took the entire day and she was not in the SDM’s court to furnish bail bond when Bikram was produced before him,” said Khaira.
“When (journalist) Jarnail Singh tossed a shoe at (the-then Congress minister) P Chidambaram on April 17, 2009, the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) honoured him; and now Badal is inflicting cruelty on Bikram for a similar act,” said the former legislator. Jarnail had, later, joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), of which Bikram is alleged to be a member.
Asked to explain the harsh charges, director general of police (Ludhiana range) GS Dhillon said Bikram had manhandled sub-inspector Manjit Singh who had arrested him from the spot. “His accomplices Mahinderpal Singh, Hardev Singh, and Hardeep are booked under the same sections,” he confirmed.
No hand in attack: Bhagwant Mann
Bhagwant Mann, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member of Parliament from Sangrur, has refuted the allegation that he is behind the shoe incident. “The accusation is baseless. The action (against Bikram) is high-handedness of Punjab Police and the ruling Akali-BJP combine,” he added in statement issued on Sunday.